My PC has an SSD main drive and a traditional HDD. Most of my files (code, music, videos, general documents and stuff) are on the HDD. I need no convincing about the read speed of SSDs - my machine boots up in a few seconds. I was wondering though, whether I could speed up day to day work (particularly, development).
So I copied my 'dev' directory from my HDD to the SSD, and with two cygwin terminals side by side, ran
mvn clean package on some of my chunkiest projects, first A, then B, then A, then B, then A, then B, and so on. I didn't take exact measurements, but the results were interesting: the HDD versions built as fast, or faster (I'd say up to 10%) than the SSD versions.
Of course, I wasn't doing all the Right Things, like flushing and whatnot, but the
clean meant at least some of the file I/O wasn't pre-cached. The fact is that at no time was the SSD build faster, and it was generally marginally slower. SSD is fast, but my belief that it was very good for random non-sequential reads was wrong.
(Or if it is, then something else is going when it comes to compiling on SSD versus HDD, or how the two copies of my various code directories were laid out on 'disk' matters more than I'd have expected).
Moral of the story: as far as software development goes, having $IDE fire up from the SSD is a big win, but an HDD seems fine for the actual code.